Sweet jebus that was pretty depressing.
Don't be so absolute Si. Relationships in and of themselves aren't horrible - some are and some aren't, but every one isn't doomed to failure.
I can relate to wasting time and energy Si, believe me. I spent the better parts of two years with one girl, and it still didn't work out. Finding out what does and doesn't work for you isn't a mistake or a failure; and yes, something good does come out of them. Narrowing down the right girl or guy by even just one more would-be Mr./Mrs. Perfect turns out to be worth it in the end.
There's a saying we have over here that was meant to describe slightly different circumstances, but I think its message still applies pretty well here. "Sometimes you have to slay a few dragons before you find your princess."
I won't go into the military interpretation of the phrase, but it's straight forward enough isn't it? Nothing good comes without effort, and some people just have to put out a lot more than others. It's not fair how the dice falls that way, but that's how it is, and some of us have to deal with it. Don't give up on yourself Si, and use this to make yourself stronger, because it sure as hell didn't kill you.
"Tough times don't last, tough men (women) do."
- Golf Co. motto
"I AM A SEXY SHOELESS GOD OF WAR!" - Belkar